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Professional Museum Translators for Promoting Multilingualism and Accessible Texts: Translation Practices in Some Italian Museums and a Proposal

by MARINA MANFREDI (Author)
28 Pages
Open Access
Journal: Journal of Translation Studies Volume 1 Issue 1 Year 2021 pp. 59 - 86

Summary

This article examines the role of museum translation in the contemporary world. More specifically, the paper advocates linguistic “accessibility” for museum target texts, focusing on a case study of three Italian museums. Combining a qualitative context-oriented methodology and a theoretical approach, the paper draws on interviews with museum professionals in the city of Bologna, Italy, and puts forward a proposal for a linguistic training of professional museum translators who can tackle the challenge posed by multifunctional texts. The findings suggest that, although translation is recognized by translation-related staff as a crucial activity in the internationalization of museums, translation practices are not systematic. Exploiting interdisciplinary connections between Translation Studies and Systemic Functional Linguistics, interfacing with Museum Studies, the paper argues that an effective, “accessible” and “inclusive” museum text may be produced by a linguistically trained translator who is capable of conveying, in a different language, the “organizational”, “interactional” and “representational” functions (Ravelli 2006) which are interlocked in a museum text. Authentic examples from panels and exhibit labels will be offered, dealing with the Italian-English language pair.

Biographical notes

MARINA MANFREDI (Author)

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Title: Professional Museum Translators for Promoting Multilingualism and Accessible Texts: Translation Practices in Some Italian Museums and a Proposal